I can't cook, can you help please?

Miss_Scarlett Posts: 123 Forumite
edited 11 August 2009 at 6:07PM in Old style MoneySaving
Hi everyone. I think I need some help in the kitchen department. I love the idea of making everything myself. I wish so much I could be one of those women who produces wonderful things from a bag of flour but the fact is, I'm awful.

I try really hard to follow recipes, but things never come out as they should. The other day I tried to make some chocolate brownies, the recipe said cook for 30 mins. I dutifully took them out at the right time, but they were so rock hard DH suggested I sell them to the RAF as weapons of mass destruction.

I've got a bunch of cookery books and I do keep trying, but my yorkshire puddings are flat solid lumps, my bread is U shaped and welded to the tin. I can usually knock up a spag bol but other than that we live on salads. I did try cookery lessons once but no word of a lie, I set fire to the teachers wooden sieve so I was too embarrased to go back again.

So, can anyone offer any ideas on how I can become better? I would love to be able to meal plan and become more old style but trying to cook just seems to cost me more because we need to eat something other than the disaster I've produced.



  • Psykicpup
    Psykicpup Posts: 1,398
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    You need to relax - & remember that the food hasnt read the cookery book! - any receipe is just a guide you need to adjust to various things - for instance your cooker sounds like it might be hotter so you may need to cook at a lower temp or for less time - it does come with practice - honest! - just check fairly often & if you think its done before 'times-up', then thats ok
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  • ben500
    ben500 Posts: 23,192 Forumite
    I'd hazard a guess that you are not pre-heating the oven perhaps?
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  • Rikki
    Rikki Posts: 21,625 Forumite
    Take a look at this Mr Badexamples Cooking Index be prepared to laugh and learn. You have been warned. :)
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  • stefejb
    stefejb Posts: 1,725 Forumite
    What I have learned is that the picture should only be a guide to things like how small to chop stuff and should in no way be regarded as an expectation of what the finished result will look like. food photograpy is a highly specialised skill and if you think yours is going to look the same you will be dissapointed :)
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  • marleyboy
    marleyboy Posts: 16,698
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    The golden rule of cookery, cook at a slightly lower heat for slightly longer ;)
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  • skintchick
    skintchick Posts: 15,114
    Debt-free and Proud!
    I think you should ignore the recipe books! WHen I first started cooking, my best meals came from experimenting and tasting. Checking cakes during cooking rather than replying on book timings is a good example - books don;t know how hot your oven is or how big you made your fairy cakes.

    Start with easy stuff like a baked chicken breast (wrap it in foil to stop it drying out) with couscous and boiled veg.

    Next, try wrapping bacon round the chicken and ditching the foil.

    Soon, you'll feel confident about cooking. And of something does go wrong, just shrug it off. We all mess up sometimes!
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  • Fivenations
    Fivenations Posts: 382 Forumite
    Find a friend that can cook and ask her to show you a few basic recipes then you may find the rest will fall into placeas your confidence grows. Cooking is not rocket science but, as with everything, you need to start with the basics and work your way up to the hard stuff. And dont give up just becuase of a few mistakes. I cant do brownies to save my life and flapjacks always stick to the pan but I can cook choux pastry with eyes shut , sushi and roll out pasta by hand! Delia is much malighned but her basic recipes are good to start with.
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  • glitterycloud
    glitterycloud Posts: 321 Forumite
    I was exactly like you, couldnt cook anthing without either burning or undercooking it, but i stuck with it and experimented alot OH was very patient!! Now i can follow recipes, chuck in what i have in the cupboard and almost everything comes out ok. My advice is don't worry if it doesnt come out right first time just keep trying and those brownies will be successful!
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  • dannahaz
    dannahaz Posts: 1,068
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    What would you like to learn to cook?
  • skintchick
    skintchick Posts: 15,114
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Ooh yes, Delia is great! Get her original book and use that - she taught me all my basics. And I did yorkshires for the first time the other week and was so proud I paraded them round the living room for OH to admire! lol.
    :cool: DFW Nerd Club member 023...DFD 9.2.2007 :cool:
    :heartpuls married 21 6 08 :A Angel babies' birth dates 3.10.08 * 4.3.11 * 11.11.11 * 17.3.12 * 2.7.12 :heart2: My live baby's birth date 22 7 09 :heart2: I'm due another baby at the end of July 2014! :j
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